“When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’
There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”
I came across this painting last year in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. It is called The Deposition and was painted between 1568-1572 by Girolamo Siciolante de Sermoneta. It’s a scene we know little about: when the tortured body of Jesus is removed from the cross. The cruel thorny crown and the crude nails are removed, and the heavy dead weight of his stretched body is carried to the tomb. The dark end of the darkest day, when it appeared as though evil had overpowered in a crushing defeat of divinity, as though Jesus had given up and given in, as though hope was dead and sealed with a stone.